By Kristi Rowe, NewsCastic
Dallas takes its art very seriously. From its 62-acre arts district to its many free public art spaces, to its architecturally significant buildings, Dallas has something for everyone. Even those of us who like our art a little wacky can find something to enjoy in the city. We don’t even have to spend a penny – we just have to make our way around town.
That 70s Style
So our City Hall itself is somewhat of a work of art, designed by Pritzker award-winning architect I.M. Pei (and also seen in the movie RoboCop.) But there’s also a little blob of sculpture out front that’s pretty important too. British artist Henry Moore finished up his way-larger-than-life piece “Vertebrae” in order to complete this commissioned work, not surprisingly titled “The Dallas Piece”, for our 70’s inspired government building at 1500 Marilla Street.
Everyone’s Favorite Amoeba
It seems that amoeba-like is a very popular attribute in public art. This piece, “Companions” by Tony Cragg is part of the wonderful, free art collection at NorthPark Mall.
You Belong to the City
Moving on to something a little more complex than amoeba, we have the outdoor installation from artist Leni Schwendinger at 1902 Main Street (Main Street Garden). These aren’t just color-coordinated, lime green, shade-providing sculptures, they are video art. The light bands inside each one change colors at sunrise and sunset as well as throughout various times of the year.
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Nebula
Kinetic art is trendy too. This crazy piece called “Nebula” is at the Hilton Anatole, which boasts the largest collection of art in any American hotel. The atrium of the hotel served as inspiration for the piece, created by sculptor Reuben Margolin. Visit the Anatole and its free art collection at 2201 N Stemmons Freeway.
Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’
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Harrow, 1992 Linnea Glatt (American, b. 1949) James Cinquemani (American, b. 1948) designed and produced the mechanical elements. Motorized Cor-ten steel. In Lubben Plaza Park, on the south side of Wood Street between South Market and South Austin Streets Photography by Robin de Glanville, @stagethyme #LinneaGlatt #JamesCinquemani #CorTenSculpture #SteelSculpture #CorTenSteel #DowntownDallas #DallasArt #DallasArts #Sculpture #SculptureArt #PublicArt #ContemporaryArt #ModernArt #SculptureNetwork #igTexas #VisitTexas #VisitDallas #LoveDFW #ILoveDallas #IG_Texas
What city is complete without a sculpture of a giant screw? This one in Lubben Park (on South Market Street across from the Omni Hotel) in downtown is also kinetic art, in that it actually makes a full revolution around a circle each day. “Harrow” is a commissioned piece by Dallas artist Linnea Glatt.
These Hands Are Small, I Know
Talk about wacky? Inspired by the idea that surgeon’s hands come in all different shapes and sizes, Adrian Flatt, began a collection of bronze cast hands of a selection of famous people. It’s free, and you can see it on display at Baylor Medical Center. If that’s your thing. Find it in the lobby of the George W. Truett Memorial Hospital at 3501 Junius Street.
The Eye of Texas is Upon You
The Joule Hotel at 1530 Main Street in downtown Dallas has a huge collection of midcentury and modern art on display in its public areas. Wander through to see some “rescued” murals from industrial designer Millard Sheets, or step across the street to see the “Eye” by Tony Tasset, brought to Dallas in 2013 by the hotel owners.
The Robot, His Guitar and His Little Bird Friend
“Traveling Man” is actually not one, but three much-larger-than-life stainless steel pieces by Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg. The giant robots were originally created and installed in Deep Ellum to mark the expansion of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to the area.
All three pieces can be found on Good Latimer Street. The first is directly across from the Deep Ellum DART Station between cross streets Swiss Avenue and Miranda Street. The second is at Gaston and Good Latimer and the third at Good Latimer and Elm.
Put a Mask On It
This nutty piece is actually ancient art that’s on display in the always-free permanent collection in the Dallas Museum of Art. You won’t just find wacky in this 20,000 piece museum at 1717 N Harwood Street. There’s also whimsical, weighty, worldly, and well-known art, and it’s all absolutely worthwhile. Spend a day (or a week) checking it out.
Glow in the Dark Leap Frog
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science at 2201 N Field St isn’t free, but you can see these three crazy leap frog sculptures in the free park area outside near the parking lot. A charming kids’ playground by day, it’s a slightly eerie but beautiful photo opportunity at night when the frogs glow in the dark.
Lest you think we take even wacky art too seriously, we’ll end on a playful note. There are dozens of eye-catching murals in Deep Ellum, but one of our favorites is right on the inside wall of Serious Pizza at 2807 Elm Street. Where we’re helping ourselves to a very serious slice (with pepperoni!) at this very moment.